January 26, 2010

A smidgeon of history...

Democrats' Bush-bashing strategy goes bust - Jonathan Martin - POLITICO.com:

...Running as much against the Bush White House as he was running against Sen. John McCain, Barack Obama easily carried Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts in 2008.

Yet when Democratic nominees for governor in Virginia and New Jersey and for Senate in Massachusetts sought to tie their GOP opponents to the still-unpopular former president, the strategy didn't resonate. Voters were more focused on the current administration or local political issues — and the onetime Democratic magic formula seemed yesterday's news.

"Voters are pretty tired of the blame game," said longtime Democratic strategist Steve Hildebrand, a top aide on Obama's presidential campaign. "What a stupid strategy that was."

Howard Wolfson, a senior official on Hillary Clinton's campaign and veteran Democratic communications guru, noted that his party was able to run against Republican Herbert Hoover's Depression-era presidency for 30 years....

SO, what happened 30 years after Hoover? Hmmm? Well, Conscience of a Conservative was published in 1960, and became a huge best-seller. The book was by Barry Goldwater, but actually ghostwritten by L. Brent Bozell Jr., brother-in-law of William F. Buckley. That was the moment that conservative thought began to nudge its way into the public consciosnous.

It's hard to imagine now how un-idea-ed the Republicans were in the first half of the 20th Century. I was raised by intelligent parents who read books and were conservative Republicans. They travelled, knew lots of interesting people, and ran a business that employed scores of people. We went to the library in a neighboring town because ours was not large enough. (Still odd to me was that my folks had little interest in owning books. It may have been a Depression Era thing, or because there were few bookstores around. None really; just the book sections of department stores.)

Yet the idea of reading conservative intellectuals was not something I even imagined until the 1970's.

Posted by John Weidner at January 26, 2010 7:01 AM
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